What more of an irony can one witness than spending looted funds to campaign against corruption, definitely not many.
This is the irony of the defense of Alexander Micah Paman, the former Chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit, ACTU, of the Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja who was jailed 12 years by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja over N5 million fraud.
Justifying the diversion of the fund, he said it was spent “for the celebration of the International Anti-Corruption Day”.
Paman, an assistant director was sentenced following a charge by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.
The convict was alleged to have made false retirement of N4.9 million for the N5 million approved by the Permanent Secretary on December 4, 2014, for the observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, 2014, contrary to Section 16 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
He was also accused of diverting the sum of N400,000 donated for the same purpose by the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, contrary to Section 19 of the said Act.
A statement that was signed by the spokesperson of the ICPC, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, disclosed that the convict had while defending his actions, told the court that the money was actually spent for the celebration of the International Anti-Corruption Day.
He was said to have furnished the court with unsubstantiated and unreceipted retirement claims.
“In his desperate bid to cover-up the diversion of the N400,000, he claimed that the amount was used for media, whereas the false retirement he made in respect of the N4.9 million included media coverage.
“His claims were however pushed back by counsel to ICPC, Ekoi Akponimisingha, with evidence that Paman had used part of the N4.9 million to pay the media as contained in the false retirement and had diverted the N400,000 for his personal use”, the statement added.
In his judgement, Justice O. A. Adeniyi, held that the prosecution successfully proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the convict failed to use the money for the purpose it was meant for.
The court, therefore, sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment for making false returns, and five years for abuse of office and conferring corrupt advantage on himself.
The sentence, according to the court, will run concurrently.
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